Worth Reading - 3/17

1. The real history of St. Patrick in just a few minutes:

2. A humorous retelling of the doctrine of the Trinity in honor of St. Patrick's day:

Since last summer, the plight of Assyrian Christians and the Yazidis in Iraq has been on the front pages of every news outlet in the Western world. The tragic fate of these people has drawn the attention of people from the left to the right, Christian and non-Christian.

Yet, Mainline Protestants in America have remained conspicuously silent.

In the past few weeks, ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Following that, the terrorist group kidnapped more than 200 Assyrian Christians in northeast Syria and has also systematically destroyed the centuries-old works of art housed in the Mosul Museum in northern Iraq.

Yet, if you visit the news section of the United Church of Christ’s website, you would be hard pressed to find anything about the Assyrian people and their fate. It took my denomination nearly four days to issue an odd statement of solidarity with the “Egyptian partners.”

The denomination’s official Facebook page shows something similar. Since the beheadings, it ran three stories about real and alleged instances of discrimination against Muslims in the United States, the same number about the Keystone Pipeline, and one story about the beheading of Copts. It took two days for the Assyrians to make it to their wall.
THE details may vary. Americans sling their business cards casually across a table; the Japanese make the exchange of cards as elaborate as a tea ceremony. Some cards are discreet. Guangbiao Chen, a Chinese tycoon, crams his with titles such as “China earthquake rescue hero”, “Most prominent philanthropist of China”, “China’s foremost environmental preservation demolition expert” and, in case you didn’t get the message, “Most influential person of China”. But the swapping of business cards is as close to a universal ritual as you can find in the corporate world.

Business cards have been around a long time in one form or another. The Chinese invented calling cards in the 15th century to give people notice that they intended to visit. European merchants invented trade cards in the 17th century to act as miniature advertisements. They can provoke strong emotions. Nothing will provoke more discussion at a board meeting than the design of the company’s business cards, says a veteran director. In Bret Easton Ellis’s novel, “American Psycho”, the serial-killer antihero tries to impress some fellow masters of the universe with his new business card. He is crestfallen when they all whip out equally fancy ones—and aghast when one produces an absent colleague’s card, which is on thicker paper and has a watermark.

5. Gene Veith explains how Max Weber got the Protestant Ethic wrong: